3 stars

Contemporary Romance Review: Gypsy by Carole Mortimer

Gypsy, Carole Mortimer, Harlequin, 1985
Gypsy, Carole Mortimer, Harlequin, 1985, cover artist TBD

She had been his brothers wife, he hadn’t seen her for three years, and yet he had only to think of her to ache with an unrequited desire, knew that he ached with that desire even now.


3 stars

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The Book

I have a real love/hate situation with Carole Mortimer’s contemporary romance, Gypsy. It’s got some concepts I adore and others, like adultery, that make me want to toss this book across the room.

Carole Mortimer is one of the few Harlequin authors who regularly features blond heroes (I prefer them to the “tall, dark” archetype), so I have tons of her books. Usually, I enjoy reading them.

The Plot

Here, the fair-haired “hero,” Lyon, is a real nasty piece of work. He’s an adulterous husband who refuses to divorce his wife because he feels he owes it to her to stick around. That made no sense to me. I had a hard time dealing with the adultery concept. For some reason, I can accept it in historicals, but in contemporaries, I don’t have much sympathy.

I couldn’t understand why Lyon’s wife didn’t divorce him. Worse still is the supposed heroine, Shay. What kind of woman is cool with screwing a married man who lives with his wife, who also cheats, and they all hang out together at parties like it’s no big thing? Yes, she was very young, plus a virgin before Lyon came along and was naïve. But naïve and stupid shouldn’t mean the same thing.

And yes, Shay left Lyon to marry his younger brother, Ricky, when she discovered she was pregnant with Lyon’s child. It’s creepy, too, how now Ricky’s dead and she’s pregnant with his child. But all that didn’t bother me as much as Lyon being married and is supposedly madly in love with Shay, yet unwilling to divorce his wife while they both carried on affairs. I guess everyone has their peeves, and adultery in contemporaries is one of mine.

Final Analysis of Gypsy

Still, Gypsy had this kind of “car-accident” vibe to it, where I couldn’t look away or put the book down. The serpentine semi-incestuous and adulterous relationships did make for a crazy time. It’s worth a read, even if I felt I needed to shower afterward.

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